What was your worst parent encounter?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by heavens54, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Feb 20, 2013

    Let's see

    A parent in 11th grade English at a Catholic school who berated me for giving his daughter a zero for her plagiarised paper. He demanded that she receive a C because she turned it in!

    A parent who couldn't understand how her daughter received an F when she had received a B on one quiz, but failed everything else, and didn't do about 60% of her work. She tried to prove to me with a calculator that if you add a B to an F it equals a B. The daughter had to intervene and tell her she deserved an F.

    The parent who asked for a conference because I was picking on her son. I had apparently written several referrals for his behavior (I had not, he actually was not a problem in my class), how I should not expect him to turn anything in because he had a child at home, and then whipped out her tape recorder to tape me without my permission. I told her she couldn't do that, and she started ranting about her civil rights, and threatened to have me arrested for interfering with her. When my P stepped in, she threatened to have him arrested. Best P I ever had, he said, "No, ma'am, you will be arrested if you continue to speak to my teachers that way. Now please leave my building before your son has to bail you out of jail."

    The parent who insisted that her child receive higher than a 30 on a research paper because he had worked so hard on it (it was riddled with grammar mistakes, etc.), that she demanded another teacher read it. Another teacher read it, told her that I was generous in my grading. She accused that teacher of colluding with me, and demanded my AP read it. He read it, agreed with both previous teachers, and then she accused him of protecting us. She demanded someone outside the building read it. He sent it to another school within the district who had no ties with any of us--the mother even selected them. That teacher also agreed with all of us, and sent us a copy of the email she sent the mother, "Be happy with the 30. I wouldn't let my dog crap on this." (I still keep this email). That child went on to squeak by and graduate (I got a thank you bouquet). I was secretly happy when one of his classmates came back the following year and told me that this child had enrolled at a local tech school and had dropped out within a week because Mom went to the school to berate his professors and he was so embarrassed and so incapable of doing the work that he left.

    A parent called a conference with my and my P a year after her child completed my class to ask that her F be changed to a D because I had graded the final too fast.

    I even had one tell me this morning that "I promised her I would put extra credit" on her child's grade for the 1st nine weeks (which I did, it is documented in our online software which can't be changed after the period ends), but says I didn't, she's been checking, and it's not there. And of course, she made sure to tell me that her son does not like me and that I'm too hard on him.
     
  2. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Feb 20, 2013

    I posted:

    Response:
    But if the parent read it an didn't understand it either time but thought he or she did understand it both times, the parent would still be up in arms about the difference in the grade. Referencing a syllabus you think you understand won't resolve any issue if you really didn't understand what it meant.

    It seems you are going into this as if the parent really understands what is mean by weighting and how it is figured out. Even if it is spelled out so that we think everyone should understand it, there will be those people that will NEVER understand it.

    This is also a common problem with students. They think they understand things completely but are really so far off the mark sometimes it is frightening.
     
  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 20, 2013

    In the case that a parent reads a syllabus but can't understand it no matter how many times they reference, I think the best thing to do would probably be to trust the teachers judgment, because the parent is obviously not capable of making any judgment on their own.
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Feb 20, 2013

    I'm not sure why multiple people are struggling to understand that sometimes people THINK they understand. In their mind they DO understand what is written. So, they aren't going to defer to the teacher because they think the teacher made a mistake because the teacher's result is different than their own understanding.

    It is like trying to work with People that THINK they understand how to do Order of Operations but they really don't. They are convinced they know how and can't understand why someone says their answer isn't right. They will spend lots of time trying to convince the other person that their answer is in fact correct and the other person's (correct) answer is wrong. That's the funny thing about understanding.
     
  5. JandT

    JandT Rookie

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    Feb 20, 2013

    That's why I have my students' parents sign a different sheet that I keep and tell the students to place the syllabus at the front of their binders.
     
  6. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Feb 20, 2013

    My scariest encounter was when I witnessed the parent of one of my students abusing the child. The student made a really really minor mistake and the parent began to beat the child in the hallway.

    While I was on the phone calling the office for help the parent pushed the child into my classroom and began yelling profanity at the student.

    As the student was walking to their desk, the parent hit the child again in front of me and the entire class. Then the parent grabbed the child and began to choke and shake the child in a blind rage.

    I screamed several times for the parent to stop before they seemed to "wake up" and realize what they were doing, then stormed out my classroom.

    It was so hard because we were only about 15 minutes into the school day and I really wanted to go home, turn on my shower and just let the water run over me so I could sob and wash away how dirty the encounter made me feel.

    I kept thinking, "If that parent will beat the child this badly in a public place in front of a roomful of children and a teacher, what does the parent do to this poor child at home?"


    I called CPS and was scared for several days going home because I was like the parent HAD to know I was the one who called and I was afraid they might retaliate.

    The child transferred to another school about a month later. One of the teachers on my team said she saw the parent with their spouse, the abused child and their other children at the supermarket last year.

    She asked them how was everything and the parent responded, "Better now that we're away from your piece of sh** school."
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 20, 2013

    That makes more sense. So a parent THINKS they understand the syllabus, but they don't really, and they're arguing with the teacher because they think the teacher made a mistake.

    But I still think it would be a poor course of action. I mean the teacher WROTE the syllabus, so wouldn't it be best to trust the judgment of the teacher in this case?
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    But we all make mistakes sometimes! We have all lost papers, recorded things under the wrong thing, etc. It is possible for mistakes to happen. So, no, just letting something that seems a mistake slide would be a poor move on the part of a parent. Now, the parent SHOULD be respectful, but I don't think it is out of the realm of teacher responsibility to try to help a parent understand weighting of grades. How that is communicated will determine how the parent responds to the explanation.
     
  9. JandT

    JandT Rookie

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    Feb 20, 2013

    I've had some doozies, but thankfully most of the time I had really good admin support. I had one principal that was all about giving parents what they wanted, no matter how wrong they were or how much it violated school/district policy.
     
  10. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Feb 20, 2013

    I think I would have had to take a personal day. :( poor kid..
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I've never had anything too horrible...One dad (who was just completely CRAZY!) started yelling at me at conference time, saying that I thought his kid was stupid. He was making a big scene in the hallway.

    Another mom (a teacher, actually) was very upset with the district's expectations of kindergarten students, and decided to take it out on me by yelling at me at conferences. She pulled her kid out and did open-enrollment to the district where she teaches.
     
  12. mrsc_teaches

    mrsc_teaches Companion

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    Feb 20, 2013

    I teach in an urban school with a 98% African American population. I get called a racist at least 3-4 times a year for now 7 years. 3 times from other staff members! I love my kids, I even learned how to do the different things with their hair twisties and braids, I even tried a cornroll (pretty sure that's spelled wrong) bought special rubber bands always have good lotion. I am still a racist!

    I have had my life threatened several times over silly stuff, like we were reading a story child needs to use the bathroom I ask them to wait about 5 minutes till workshop time. Child happily goes then I am a horrible person because I made them wait.

    The best was a mother of a boy who is SO ADHD he can't stand himself. Mom is totally ignoring the problem blaming the issue on anyone and everyone else. Parents split. Boy starts touching girls on their bottoms and then tries to kiss a girl. I talk to the girls parents dreading calling mom. I seriously had 3 incidents in 1 day. Mom screams at me because I didn't all after the first, then wants to know why I let it happen. He was so busy I had to keep him at my desk at all times. Then mom felt that was unfair because he was separated from the other students. It went on all year. Then he put his hands down the shirt of my well endowed para pro and she was upset. To the office I go to call the mom. I tell her of the incident her reply is what is the para pro wearing? Well she is dressed in a professional manner for the classroom. I want to know exactly what she is wearing. I finally had to get the admin because she was alluding that the para was coming onto her child. Totally was not the case!
     
  13. hbcaligirl1985

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    Feb 21, 2013

    I retract my earlier statement. I'm GLAD I haven't had to deal with these crazies. I have a chronic case of foot in mouth disease. They would not like what I have to say.
     
  14. greendream

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    Feb 21, 2013

    I'm not sure if I'm understanding this correctly because, frankly, your writing is practically incomprehensible, but I'm appalled--not by their actions, but by yours. That is absolutely disgusting behavior for an adult, and if people I worked with did what you did, I would report them immediately and hope they got fired.
     
  15. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    I agree. So every time someone says something untrue you're going to do that? Thats why you did it right?
     
  16. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Feb 21, 2013

    I went back and could not find that post by rebel but I think you are missing some info. What did the parent do and say before she handed her the poop clothes. Rebel obviously was holding them so handing them to the parent was not that grievous of a crime. My children have had accidents before and sometimes you have to wash your hands. I would like to see what else happened before I would judge so harshly.
    Once I had to clean an entire BR because a K child had it all over the walls and the janitor was out.
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 21, 2013

    Ugh, I dealt with that a few times in retail. It was one of the reasons I knew I had to get OUT of retail. Hoping I never have to deal with it in a school setting!

    I don't know if this is horrific, but last year I had a parent who would call about his son, but his language was incredibly vulgar. He couldn't stop lacing his conversation with f-bombs and the like. I couldn't hang up on him and couldn't get him to stop talking long enough to ask him for more professional discourse. If I had called him at his law office, I cannot imagine he would have been that vulgar or verbose, but apparently teachers don't get as much respect.
     
  18. Rox

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    Feb 21, 2013

    She couldn't put the clothes into a plastic bag before handing them over? :confused:
     
  19. hbcaligirl1985

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    She claimed she did it partially because the mom accused her of racism.
     
  20. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Feb 21, 2013

    Observe.

    Not the proper course of action tbh.
     
  21. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Feb 21, 2013

    Parent told me if she ever saw me in the street, she would beat my ass! What happened? Nothing.
     
  22. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Ah a classic in any job! I had that threat in retail. Was brassy enough to give my name and what I was wearing. Nothing happened.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 21, 2013

    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  24. Moldy Peach

    Moldy Peach Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2013

    Sharing my post from another thread I started about the incident, "Did you ever lose your cool with a parent?" Here it is.


    I had a less than wonderful run-in with a parent this morning in the parking lot.

    At approximately 7:45 I pulled into the staff lot to park my car. There are two lanes in the lot: one for parking/drop off, and one for moving vehicles. I was on the moving vehicle lane, wanting to pull into a spot, when the woman in question cut me off with no warning or turn signal. I raised my hands in frustration. She sneered back at me, spouting off some unkind words, very upset. After finally getting into my space (when she moved out of the way to let me in), she continued to stare and shout at me. I was so caught up in the moment that I acted irrationally by 'flipping her the bird'. Of course I immediately regretted this decision, but at that point it was too late.
    I gathered my belongings from the car and walked to my classroom. I could see from the classroom window that she was leaving the parking lot, but pulled back around to come in again. I have had my car vandalized in the past, and I wasn't about to let it happen again. I went back outside to the parking lot.
    She immediately ran by me, taking photos with her phone of my car, screaming and shouting about how she was going to call the police. I tried to calmly talk with her, apologized for acting irrationally by giving her the finger, but she was absolutely livid, screaming to anyone who would listen, including parents who were driving by in their car, "Call 911 right away! Please! This man is harassing me;" and to students, "Do you know who this teacher is? What class does he teach?" What is his name? Can you tell me his name please." Every time I tried to get a little bit close to explain she would run away, as if I were planning on attacking her or something, "Go away! Stay back! Go away from me.!" At this point, one of the interpreters/aides, Jill, saw this going on and was just as perplexed as I was about her huge reaction. By that point, the 2nd warning bell had rung and I had to get back to my classroom to let my students inside.
    The reason I came back outside the 2nd time was that I was afraid she was going to vandalize my car in some way, to retaliate. Fortuantely my car has been untouched. I did try to say in a very calm manner that if she so much as touched my car or tried to damage it in any way that I would press charges. I also snapped a photo on my phone of her. After checking a bit later on the car I was relieved to see no damage had been done. I have not heard from the woman since.

    _______
    Followup: I had to meet with all 3 principals, head, vice, and assistant (who happened to be in a meeting at the time) to explain my side of the story, because this woman really DID call the police, school district, and the school itself. So they had already known about it when I sat down to meet with them. Of course she construes the story to make ME look like the bad guy, the one who was out of control and "angry".:whistle:
     
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